Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Gorgeous Accordion Fold Fall Paper Leaf Banner

Today we're continuing with the theme of easy fall crafts.  Couple of days ago I shared this really beautiful Sewn Leaf Art project that I made with my preschooler.  Today I just wanted to share this gorgeous folded paper leaf banner.

How to make a gorgeous accordion folded paper leaf banner with kids

I came up with the idea after reading some fall-themed books with my son.   Seeing all the beautiful colored leaves in the books made me miss the fall leaves back on the East coast.  And then it hit me- why not make our own?  Bring a bit of fall to our forever-summer state.   And so, my son and I got to making and painting together.  The results came out so beautiful that he insisted we hang the banner up in his room to spruce it up.

Don't have time to paint leaves?  Try this easy origami paper version instead!

Materials Used:

Here's how we made our paper leaf banner!

cut paper into rectangles

First, I cut out a bunch of 5 1/2" x 7" rectangles.

fold and hole punch leaves

Then, I took my rectangle and folded it in half, then in half, then in half again (along the length.)  (This way I had lines to guide my accordion folds later.)  Then, I punched a hole in one end.

cut out a shape from the paper to create your accordion folded leaves

Then, I unfolded most of my folds until my paper was only folded in half.  I cut a slanted line on one side (right in the image above) to give the general shape of a leaf.  (The leaf's point is in the middle of the paper.)

cut edges to create different paper accordion leaves

Once I had this general shape down.  I cut out several different types of designs on my slanted side to make various leaves that looked realistic when refolded.

accordion fold paper to create leaves

Then, I open up my paper and accordion folded the paper along my pre-folded lines.  I stapled the folds together.

Gorgeous, 3D accordion Folded Fall Paper Leaves

I opened up my accordion folds like a fan and pushed down on the leaf's edges to make sure they stay opened.  I ended up with some really lovely and modern leaves.  

(Apologies if my directions seem rather intense.  But I promise that once you make one leaf, you'll become a leaf making factory and churn out a whole bunch more.)

paint your accordion folded leaves fall colors

Then, we grabbed your watercolor paints and painted away!  At first we we looked at some photos of fall leaves and choose fall-themed colors.  But then my son requested blue and purple too because he really loves those colors.

boy painting accordion folded fall paper leaf

I made a whole bunch of leaves for us to paint, but it took him 1/2 an hour to just finish painting one!  He was very set on painting both the front and back and all the folded nooks and crannies.

Watercolor painted accordion fold fall paper leaf banner

So while he worked on his leaf, I just splashed the rest with beautiful, vibrant colors.  (Don't you just looove the pigmentation of Liquid Watercolors.  Really, gorgeous.)

Once our paint dried, I tied the leaves to a 3 long strands of yarn.  And that's it!

Easy and beautiful painted accordion folded fall paper leaf banner -Great craft to make with kids of all ages!

I really, really love how this activity turned out.  I hope you enjoy trying it out with your children too!  I'll bet it would make a wonderful play date or classroom art activity.  Couldn't you just imagine several kids painting side-by-side to create beautiful fall-themed decorations?

And if you liked this simple painting activity, check out these 4 other painting activities below!

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Happy making, friends!

How to make a gorgeous accordion folded fall paper leaf banner  with kids